who spent her life devoted to her family, passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter, Anne Barr Hotz, in West Bloomfield, Michigan on Monday, May 29, 2017. Born on August 26, 1932 in Kansas City, Missouri to Thomas Orton Harrington (1906-1945) and Phoebe Mosman Browne (1910-1984), Connie grew up in Kansas City and graduated from Southwest High School. After attending Smith College and the University of Kansas City, Connie graduated from the University of Kansas in 1953. Connie was active in theater and while at the University of Kansas City (now the University of Missouri at Kansas City), she starred in several plays, including George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan." While involved in theater at the University of Kansas City, Connie met Thomas D. Barr, who had some smaller parts in several of the plays in which she had leading roles. Connie and Tom married on September 26, 1953 at the home of her mother in Mission Hills, Kansas. They spent the first years of their marriage in Oceanside, California, where Tom served in the United States Marines Corps at Camp Pendleton. In 1955, Connie and Tom drove across the country with a leaky passenger-side window air conditioner to New Haven, Connecticut, where Connie enrolled in the Yale Drama School and Tom at the Yale Law School. They lived in half of a Quonset hut near the Yale Bowl and often reminisced that those years were among the happiest of their lives. Connie's stage career was permanently interrupted in 1956 by the birth of the Barrs' first child, Daniel Clayton, who was born with an acute case of pyloric stenosis, a blockage between the stomach and small intestine that at the time required surgery. Despite being told that her son would not survive the surgery, Connie persisted and put her faith in a young Japanese surgeon at Yale New Haven Hospital at a time--11 years after the end of World War II--when many in our country might have still been unwilling to do so. Daniel remains grateful that she had such faith. After Tom graduated from Yale Law School in 1958 and joined the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, the Barrs moved to Hartsdale, New York, where they had their second child, Phoebe Anne, in 1959. In 1960, they moved to Mamaroneck, New York, where they had their son, Robert Andrew, in 1965. In 1968, they moved to Rye, New York, where they had their daughter, Sara Elizabeth (Sally), in 1969. Connie and Tom moved to Greenwich, Connecticut in 1975 and upon Tom's retirement in 2000 to Paradise Valley, Arizona. Connie shared her talents and love of the arts and the joys of travel with her children and grandchildren. She encouraged them to broaden their thinking and experiences, and she modeled for them the example of a strong, independent woman. She dedicated her life to nurturing the characters and abilities of her husband, children, and grandchildren. While in Arizona, Connie was an active board member of the Arizona Theater Company. After Tom's passing in 2008, Connie moved to Santa Barbara, California, where she lived a few blocks away from her daughter Sally, and proudly attended many of Sally's musical performances. Connie spent the last two and a half years living with her daughter Anne and son- in-law, Ross Hotz, in their Michigan home. Connie was preceded in death by her brother, John Lyle Harrington. She is survived by her four children: Daniel (Karen Davis Barr), of Paradise Valley, Arizona; Anne (Ross Hotz), of West Bloomfield, Michigan; Robert, of Starksboro, Vermont; and Sally, of New York, New York. She is also survived by four grandchildren: Andrew Thomas Barr (Brandi Hoffine Barr), of Berkeley, California; David Cameron Barr, of Chicago, Illinois; Christopher Walcott Hotz-Berrier (Marissa Hotz-Berrier), of Madison, Wisconsin; and Michael Oliver Hotz, of Canton, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to any group that does or promotes medical research into a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
Published in New York Times on May 31, 2017.